Verona’s Makes Top 10 Of NJ Best Places List


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VeronaSigns002New Jersey Monthly magazine’s new “Best Places to Live” list is out, and while Verona is still in the top 10, it has slipped a few notches since the previous ranking in 2008.

Verona was one of only three Essex County towns to crack the top 10. It was ranked 9th on the current list, down from third on the previous ranking. Caldwell came in third on the new list and North Caldwell was number 10.

“Being in the top 10 out of 566 towns is pretty good, ” says Ken Schlager, New Jersey Monthly’s editor and a resident of Montclair, which ranked at 156 on the list. “Verona is one of only three towns that were in the top 10 two years ago that are still in the top 10 now.”

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The bi-annual list is compiled for New Jersey Monthly by Monmouth University’s Polling Institute, which examines all 566 municipalities in the state for population growth, changes in home values and median property taxes, and other factors, including how well our kids do on New Jersey’s fourth- and eighth-grade standardized tests. It does not factor in household income–traditionally one of Verona’s strengths.

The multiplicity of ranking criteria and the large number of towns surveyed mean that small things can have a large impact on the final list. Bedminster rose to No. 1 on the new list from 106 two years ago largely because its median property tax bill fell 3% (Verona’s rose 9.1%). Helping Verona to stay high in the rankings: a 7.7% drop in population since the 2000 Census, and our proximity to a large number of hospitals. It should also be noted that Verona was the second-largest town to make the top 10; it can be harder, in a large town, to effectively manage all the factors that go into the rankings. Cedar Grove, with a population of 12,645, is in 47th place, while West Orange, with a population of 42,617, was ranked 250th.

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Virginia Citrano
Virginia Citrano
Virginia Citrano grew up in Verona. She moved away to write and edit for The Wall Street Journal’s European edition, Institutional Investor, Crain’s New York Business and Since returning to Verona, she has volunteered for school, civic and religious groups, served nine years on the Verona Environmental Commission and is now part of Sustainable Verona. She co-founded MyVeronaNJ in 2009. You can reach Virginia at [email protected]


  1. so taxes in Verona rose 9%, and now our town officials want to build some more.. a football field, a basketball court, a bocce ball court among other things and all of this on the Hilltop property that is listed as a wildlife refuge. The intersting thing here is that the killing, the mass murder of the deer in Hilltop is being paid for by our open space and green acres money under the guise of Maintenance and recreation. So to all of those who voted for these programs to save our land and go green, and protect wildlife habitat….you got duped.
    To those who really care, start going to town meetings and letting the Mayor and council know how you feel. This slaughter, this bloodshed was unnecessary as the reasons were nothing but lies by our County Executive. Deer vehicle accidents in North Caldwell, Verona and Cedar Grove declined in 2009 and would be non existent if we had reflector lites that are free with grant money and installation and maintenance are also free with adopt a highway money. But our town officials decided to use the grant money for a retaining wall and bleachers in Veterans Field in the amount of $225,000. More people signed the petition against the deer hunt than voted in the last election and we now know that our voice means nothing which is why people do not vote. I plan to recall the entire Mayor and counil of both Verona and Cedar Grove, with the exception of the Verona Mayor as she did not vote for the deer slaughter as she is an employee of the County. I also believe that no one who is employed by the County should be an elected official in a town as it appears to be a conflict of interest. We need to protect ourselves going forward and ensure that this never happens again. First we need to ensure that Joe DiVincenzo does not get releected in November and as he only received 23% of the vote in his last re-election bid, that should not be too difficult. Why are people not voting? Because they believe their voice does not make a difference and we are the perfect examples of it….the majority signed petitions against the hunt and our elected officials did not care. What was really in it for them? Certainly not the safety and best intersts of their constitutents.
    Please contact me if you are interested in “we the people”.
    M.english 973 857 3922

  2. Marilyn,

    Thank you for expressing your views and for reminding people to vote, which is important in all elections.

    MyVeronaNJ extends the privilege of commenting on our stories to all our readers, provided that these comments, whether positive or critical of our stories, are civil and constructive. We hope that you will contribute to our site in that way.


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